Migrant farmworkers endure some of the worst housing conditions in North Carolina. Federal and state laws set minimum standards for migrant worker housing. In the largest and most comprehensive study of farmworker housing conducted in the Southeast, researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine found multiple violations of state and federal housing standards in every camp they studied.
Farmworkers face significant hazards at work, such as heat stress, pesticide exposure, and injuries. The housing provided to migrant farmworkers may create added health and safety risks. Violations were more common in camps that lacked a current “Certificate of Inspection” posted by the NC Department of Labor (NCDOL). Violations were more common later in the growing season. The researchers suggested that the NC Department of Labor increase its inspections of farmworker housing, and inspect housing later in the growing season in order to catch serious problems.